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  December 1st, 2016 | Written by

America’s Greatness Hinges on Strong Innovation

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  • ITIF proposes 36 policies for the incoming administration that can be achieved quickly.
  • “America’s greatness hinges on the strength of its innovation economy.”
  • ITIF: Incentivize investing for sustainable, long-term growth.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has released an open memo to President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team outlining actionable proposals that the new administration can accomplish in its first year to bolster America’s innovation economy.

ITIF, a U.S. science and technology policy think tank, proposes 36 policies that can be achieved quickly through executive authority or discrete legislative measures—all aimed at fostering innovation, boosting productivity, and improving U.S. competitiveness.

“America’s greatness hinges on the strength of its innovation economy,” said ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson. “To ensure it thrives, the federal government needs to adopt new and more creative approaches to public policy.”

This means, for Atkinson, getting beyond outdated economic theories and focusing on what really drives industries in the innovation-driven global economy. It also means addressing the problem of incentivizing performance for short-term returns and instead investing for sustainable, long-term growth.

ITIF’s transition memo for the incoming administration follows up on a June 2015 memo to all presidential candidates, which outlined an ambitious tech policy agenda to spur broad-based economic growth. “That was the poetry of campaigning,” said Atkinson. “Now that the election is over, it is time for the prose of governing.”

The transition memo outlines proposals in three categories: fostering innovation, boosting productivity, and improving competitiveness. Each proposal is addressed to a specific governmental body, from the National Economic Council to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and cabinet agencies such as the Department of Energy.

“From reforming the corporate tax system to investing in infrastructure, there are plenty of major policy actions the new administration should work on with Congress over the next four years,” said Atkinson. “But these 36 policy proposals should be relatively easy, bipartisan steps that the president can take in 2017 to kick the U.S. innovation economy into higher gear and send the right message at the outset of this administration that spurring innovation is an important priority.”